Stephen O'Donnell kees a close eye on Jack Grealish
As they prepare for a crucial meeting with Croatia which could see them progress from the Euros group stage for the first time, Scotland have not indulged in gloating about their much-praised performance in Friday’s goalless draw with England at Wembley.
That said, Stephen O’Donnell – declared man of the match by the Scotland manager, Steve Clarke – did reveal that he had tormented Jack Grealish with compliments, on the advice of Grealish’s Aston Villa team mate John McGinn.
“So, the second he came on I was telling him how good looking he was, that I loved his calves and asking him how he got his hair to look like that,” O’Donnell said. “I was told if you kick him or get him really hard, he gets back up and at you.”
O’Donnell’s team mate, Stuart Armstrong, who replaced Billy Gilmour with 14 minutes remaining, admitted he had not been on the pitch long enough to hear the banter but said that the Scots had largely ignored forecasts of an English win, of which Rio Ferdinand’s assertion that ‘I’ve never been this confident about a game in a major championship’ has been repeated endlessly on social media by the Tartan Army.
“Obviously, there was a lot of expectation from them that they should win the game. We didn’t listen to that,” Armstrong said. “We knew our own qualities and how we wanted to play and, of course, how we wanted to improve or own performance from the first game.
“I think we did that. The boys defended superbly for the whole game. We stifled England, frustrated them and we came out with a very well-deserved point.”
The Scots have yet to score in these finals and must do so against Croatia to progress. “It would be a problem if we weren’t creating any chances,” Armstrong said.
“We have had quite a few chances, so it’s just those fine margins that will take us to the next level and will get us a goal, which we do need on Tuesday.
“We have to win and a draw is no good. It’s pretty straightforward.”